Will the Renovation Wave leave Europe’s poorest on the shore?

(EurActiv, 2 Jun 2021) Across Europe, 50 million households struggle with energy poverty stemming from low incomes, high energy bills, poor energy efficiency, as well as inadequate housing. The EU’s Renovation Wave, a ‘flagship’ of the European Green Deal, provides a unique opportunity to tackle Europe’s inadequate housing while contributing to EU climate targets, writes Anna Kompatscher.

Anna Kompatscher is a policy assistant at the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless.

The Renovation Wave aims to trigger massive public and private building renovation in Europe to improve energy performance and to tackle energy poverty through the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) this year.

It seems highly likely that the revision of the EED and the EPBD will introduce mandatory minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings. If designed and implemented well, these minimum performance standards will be a crucial tool to prioritise the worst-performing buildings and those who live in them.

But they can only address energy poverty if they are accompanied by strong social safeguards, including the following.

The prioritisation of the residential sector should be paramount to target renovations for those who need them the most.

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EurActiv, 2 Jun 2021: Will the Renovation Wave leave Europe’s poorest on the shore?